When Henry the Eighth dissolved the monasteries, all of the road repair work - such that it was - that was being undertaken by the Church, stopped.
Parishes and landowners were given the task of keeping their ways passable. It wasn’t very successful but it’s all there was.
Incidentally, Henry instigated the first ever postal service. It was for the exclusive use of the king and involved riders who would take messages to destinations across the country.
But the roads continued to be dreadful.
Although the country went through enormous religious turmoil during the following reigns of Edward VI and Mary I, swinging from Protestant to Catholic and back again, nothing was done about roads, even during the long reign of Elizabeth the First.
The Tudor monarchs - Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth I
Section 2 Menu
Tales of the Road: This section tells what was it like to travel by stage coach in the mid 1800s.
Travel in England is inseparably connected to the state of our roads. This section looks at the history of British roads.
Wheeled transport evolved over many years. This section looks at how coaches developed.
Home Page of the Coaching Website.